For the chess piece, see Knight (chess)
A knight is a social position which began in the Middle Ages. It is not inherited, but must be won by a great deed. However, only noble men could become knights. Knights adhered to a code of chivalry and were usually well armored men of means who could be called upon to fight in wars. Some knights also took part in tournaments.
Knights use the title Sir in English-speaking countries and Don in Spanish-speaking countries.
In more recent times, a British knighthood is one of the highest honours awarded to high achievers from many fields of endeavour including politics (e.g. Sir John Major), sport (e.g. Sir Ian Botham), science (e.g. Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Tim Berners-Lee) and entertainment (e.g. Sir Paul McCartney).
- Bradford B. Broughton and Megan Broughton Blumbergs, Dictionary of Medieval Knighthood and Chivalry: Concepts and Terms (1986) online edition